Review & Reviews of Call to Arms Line by Fat Goblin Games - Part I

Hello All,

A new Thursday, and a new blog post -- only, not exactly. One of my last blogs on our old site (see this post about having to make a new site) was a review of Call to Arms and the books we'd released with a kind of shoutout to the Reviewer Extraordinaire, Endzeitgeist (see his website heresupport his Patreon here) and his excellent reviews of the Call to Arms books.

In its original form, it was meant to be one, very long post. Due to the limitations of the old site, it was broken up into two parts arbitrarily. Here, I'm going to very purposefully break it into three sections -- A Review of CtAs I Wrote (this blog), A Review of CtAs Written by the Goblin Hoarde, & A Preview of CtAs Coming Out Soon.

A Review of Call to Arms I Wrote

When I took over the Call to Arms around two years, there were two books in the line and we've already managed to replace one of those with a new, revised, and significantly larger version with plans to replace the other (Call to Arms: Archer's Arsenal) with an expanded line.  I significantly expanded the design and topics covered by the scope of the book. This has been recognized fairly well by Endzeitgeist by him doing reviews of almost every one of the Call to Arms so far -- as such, I'm going to post images and links to my books with my favorite quotes from Endzeitgeist with links to his review.

Endzeitgeist's 3.5 out of 5 Star Review of Call to Arms: Axes & Picks

What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: Axes & Picks...

After the disappointing first installment in the series, I kept my distance to the series, mainly since I didn’t want to bash Fat Goblin Games, then a totally different company, quality-wise, than today. Imagine my surprise when current Call to Arms-books actually were rather imaginative, inspired and cool….which made me wonder: When exactly did the series and company become better in such a short time? Well, I returned to Call to Arms to take a look at what Lucus Palosaari has crafted, to witness the growth of the author, if you will. So yeah, this is why you’re seeing a review for this old pdf now. To get that out of the way: This was obviously before editing and formatting reached the current level, so in that regard, the pdf isn’t that great.

Endzeitgeist's 4 out of 5 Star Review of Call to Arms: Pistols & Muskets

What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: Pistols & Muskets...

Beyond the formal properties, the massive level of growth exhibited by author Lucus Palosaari herein deserves mention – if I didn’t know better, I’d assume another author behind this tome, particularly when compared to the previous installment. While there are some problematic aspects herein I do not consider superb (high level gemshots…), this book still more or less revolutionizes how you can use firearms. For one, this is simulationalist’s dream when working within the PFRPG system with firearms; more importantly, this book takes a thoroughly modular approach towards the subject matter, allowing for precise control and introducing exceedingly scavenge-worthy balance-mechanisms that can make firearms work in just about every context. So yes, there is a lot to love within this book.

Endzeitgeist's 4.5 out of 5 Star Review + Seal of Approval! of Call to Arms: Fireworks & Primitive Firearms

What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: Fireworks & Primitive Firearms...

Lucus Palosaari's Call to Arms on firework weapons and explosives has easily been my most anticipated so far – and usually, when I go into a book with expectations to be wowed or amazed, I end up being disappointed. Not so here. Beyond offering plenty of unique new weapons, powder-rules and the like, it is the attention to detail, the vast research and imaginative potential, and, more than that, the devotion to maximum customization that makes this work: When a given component of rule does not work within the context of your individual game, well, no problem – it can be ignored. If it does – all the better! That being said, the amount of rules that are potentially problematic, is negligible in relation to the whole book.

Endzeitgeist's 5 out of 5 Star Review of Call to Arms: Torch & Flame

 What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: Torch & Flame...

Lucus Palosaari has written a massive book on perhaps one of the most one-dimensional topics I could imagine – and he has wrested brilliance from its kindling-dry set-up. I expected to see heat-conductive material herein; even flame made into material. I expected the comprehensive, handy collection of material. What I did not expect, in any way, was how much I’d enjoy this supplement. From the firestarting-rules to the heating-stages of metal and finally, the rules for fire as a creature-like hazard to be fought – all supplemented by solid math, well-crafted components…wow.

Endzeitgeist's 3.5 out of 5 Star Review of Call to Arms: Bracers of Armor

What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: Bracers of Armor...

Lucus Palosaari’s bracers are a briefer CtA-installment and they manage to begin with interesting ideas, the optional rules for archer-bracers, e.g., making for a cool rules-addition for low fantasy. That being said…and as much as I’m loathe to say it…this installment, is comparatively uninspired. Sure, the bracers duplicating different armors make sense…and yes, I like the fluff-change of bracers – but when compared to e.g. the fireworks book, the options provided herein simply…aren’t as evocative, as unique. In fact, the magic armor-bracers may have great fluff, but rules-wise, they are not that intriguing. Now granted, this is an inexpensive book compared to the last huge CtA-installments…but ultimately, it also feels like it doesn’t reach even half as far. In the intelligent item, one can see a bit of the playful precision with which he usually puts out those unique concepts and stitches holes in the rules…but apart from them, this pdf felt like a solid one…but one, which, in direct comparison to e.g. the firework book, fell flat of its own premise.

Endzeitgeist's 5 Out of 5 Star Review + Seal of Approval + ENZ Essentials Listing of Call to Arms: The Magic Satchel

What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: The Magic Satchel...

Lucus Palosaari’s magic satchels…are BRILLIANT. I’m not even going to try to slowly lead into this. Magic Satchels as envisioned here are exactly what I always wanted – this book pretty much looks and feels almost like it was written for me. This streamlines the extensive shopping trips and planning required in simulationalist gameplay without sacrificing the need for planning in advance; this provides almost the ease of GM-handwaving encumbrance and actually creates suspense: The cheers when players draw forth the third stake they needed on a hard skill-check…is glorious and adds actually a fun, novel component to the gameplay…and all without falling into the innumerable pits and traps this type of design sports: From weight to scarcity to even a simpler system, this book covers ALL basics in its deceptively few pages.

Endzeitgeist's 5 out of 5 Star Review + his Seal of Approval! of Call to Arms: Mantles of Power

What Endzeitgeist had to say about CtA: Mantles of Power...

Lucus Palosaari delivers essentially a bait and switch pdf – I went into this book expecting an array of magic mantles…and they’re in here. But this book is so much more. The notion of mantles as a social structuring element is a brilliant “why has this not been done before?”-moment that made me cackle with glee. Obviously, I went into the mantles of power-section rather skeptical – the obvious power-increase being just nasty…but know what? This section is x campaigns and villains waiting to happen. The brilliant horsemen mantles will be wielded by champions of darkness in my game (or by the players…we’ll see…) and then, there would be the fey-mantles.

And thus concludes Part I of the Review of Call to Arms book line. See Part II here, or Part III, the Preview, here.

Lucus Palosaari, Editor & Project Manager at Fat Goblin Games (Like us on Facebook!)

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